The Best Approaches To Upskilling Your Team

Tools & Trends Video
4 mins


Upskilling and reskilling your team encourages a culture of learning that will flourish long-term in the industry, remaining competitive and increasing your agility and ability to adapt to change.

As the rate that artificial intelligence and machine learning is developing, those who are not taking the steps to understand and use these technologies to their advantage are under risk of falling behind.

Check out our latest 'So' video for the best approaches to upskilling your team. 

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Let's talk about different approaches to upskilling your team.

So it tends to be that people will say “we're going to do some training”. Is it going to be face to face training, or is it going to be online training? And that seems to be the conversation half the time, but the reality is that those aren't the only solutions.

People learn in different ways. Some people like reading, some people like watching videos, some people like face to face. I went to a conference and they had some deep dive sessions.  And I didn't really know what I got myself in for. And you know, at a conference, you can sit there and just absorb and be an audience member. Whereas I went into this deep dive and he goes “right, we're going to do a breakout”. The hypocrisy is mind boggling, because I do breakouts in my sessions all the time, but I was like “oh, I don't feel comfortable with this, I don't want to do it, and I got up and left. I was like, “I wasn't expecting this and I can't handle it”.

So, the reality is, different people learn in different ways, but the scenario they’re in is going to make a difference as well. Also, what they're anticipating and what they want from the whole kind of scenario at the end of the day.


So we're talking about a blended approach?

Yeah, I think that's it. What we tend to see works is that you maybe do some face to face or an online session to kick things off, and then you might do some online learning and say, right, get this done by a certain date. Then we get back together to talk about how it went, what they learned, like a lunch and learn type approach.

So I think you've got to blend it together to work out what your desired outcome is. How much upskilling, what depth of upskilling do you actually need, but also what helps the audience, how do they like to learn, what timescales, what budgets have you got, all those kinds of things. So there's quite a few variables to think about, but in reality there is no one solution that suits everything.

However, I would say there's a nuance to face to face that you don't get online, but online will get you maybe 70, 80 percent of the way there at a much lower cost and less friction as well. So Chinese universities have done a whole bunch of research into this and they've found that online learning up to 30 percent works really well.

But it's a a big line in the sand, because obviously universities are trying to keep costs down, and they're pushing more and more. But actually in the education community at the moment, it seems to be very much frowned upon to do everything online,  just because they've learned through experience that it doesn't work that well and people can't absorb all of that stuff. And I find that all the time, like when you're running sessions, very often there isn't necessarily the time to give people to go off and have a go at doing stuff and it's such a shame.

And actually training over a period where people have got a chance to go and play and then come back, that's how you can make online work better as well. Is that whole thing of like, we'll do a session, go and do something, report back, try it out. So I think that makes a big difference as well.


So not everyone needs to be perfect, right?

No, so this is the other thing as well, we do the skills benchmark and you have this  percentage out of perfect and say, well everyone's here, so there's a skills crisis.

There is, but actually you just need to say, do you have a particular area of focus, right? You need to be better in that one area, or is it actually, you just need to be slightly better than your competitors. You don't need to get to 100%. So I think it's working out what kind of percentage increase are we expecting and therefore what impact would that have as well.

So we need to take a fairly considered approach to the whole thing.

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